Potomac Officers Club (POC) hosted its 2020 Procurement Virtual Forum on Tuesday, June 9th featuring Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as the opening keynote speaker.
Correa, chief procurement officers for DHS, opened the virtual event detailing that her keynote address would focus on the agency’s COVID-19 response, future procurement opportunities that are coming soon and the innovation that is working to improve the procurement process today.
She detailed that while the current pandemic wasn’t taken lightly, DHS was prepared because of a fire earlier this year. As a result, Correa updated all of the equipment for her employees to be ready for a transition to telework if necessary and finished that project in February 2020.
Correa explained how her team has embraced the technology and worked together, both within DHS and with industry, to keep working and remain focused during the pandemic. “We act, react and make things happen,” Correa explained during her keynote address on Tuesday.
She discussed her moves to establish a couple of working groups, including the Procurement and Acquisition Innovation Response (PAIR) team to help DHS handle all the significant injects that were coming from industry, and opening the lines of communications for contracts and within DHS through daily calls and more to share resources and information to keep the work moving.
If you want to hear the full keynote address from Soraya Correa, you can find it right here.
Jim McAleese, principal and owner of McAleese & Associates and GovCon Expert, followed Correa’s keynote address to discuss the impact federal agencies have made to protect American lives, the fight to keep our hospitals up and running with the equipment they need.
He mentioned the focus and leadership demonstrated by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, both 2020 Wash100 Award recipients, that led to the safety of hundreds of thousands of Americans during this pandemic.
During his time, McAleese commented on how the CARES Act benefited the intelligence community and detailed how the pandemic has impacted commercial airlines, industry and how the defense industry was able to maintain its 2020 cash flow while other companies such as Lockheed Martin were able to thrive during this time.
McAleese heeded a word of caution that now is the time to make a difference. “In my heart of hearts, I know that heroes are going to emerge over the next year. Make a difference.”
Julie Dunne, commissioner of Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) for the GSA, took the stage after McAleese to address the most recent initiatives the GSA has taken to help federal, state and local partners meet their missions.
Dunne described the work going into partnering with industry leaders and working to ensure that GSA’s work through contracts continued through the current pandemic. She noted that GSA is looking for new opportunities in innovation, specifically in supply chain security.
In addition, she talked about the work GSA’s FAS is doing to create a seamless, human-centric buying and selling experience to make it easier for customers to find and acquire products, services and solutions.
Dunne mentioned the importance of removing the barriers to do business with the federal government and improve access to customers to create new opportunities as well as empower GSA’s FAS workforce to improve its effectiveness to perform at the highest level.
If you want to hear the full discussion with Julie Dunne, you can find it right here.
The final speaker for the 2020 Procurement Virtual Forum was Kim Herrington, acting principal director of Defense Pricing and Contracting for DoD, made it clear that his department has provided liquidity to the industrial base and is working to improve the speed of contracting activity, especially with DoD now teleworking.
More specifically, Herrington disclosed that DoD has and will continue to partner with industry to ensure that Defense Industrial Base (DIB) remains as strong as possible and is still able to fulfill the current warfighter requirements.
He also mentioned that DoD’s work to implement the National Defense Strategy continues with the main initiatives being to reform acquisition and innovation within the strategy while also accelerating the speed by which government contracts are handled.
Herrington also made it clear that it’s pivotal for DoD not to sacrifice its standards for a good deal because it can be done faster than usual. That will include a new level of awareness on potential price gouging and a more featured importance on data analysis and analytics.
If you want to hear Herrington’s full presentation, you can find it right here.
Potomac Officers Club will host its next event on June 24th during the CMMC Virtual Forum 2020. Click here to register for the event that will feature Katie Arrington, chief information security officer at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition (OASDA) and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, as a keynote speaker for the long awaited virtual forum.
Also, a full expert panel will include Ty Schieber, senior director of executive education and CMMC-AB chairman of the University of Virginia and Richard Naylor of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) among other members of the federal sector and industry.
Register here to join Potomac Officers Club for its CMMC Virtual Forum 2020 on June 24th to learn about the impact DoD’s CMMC will have on cybersecurity practices, supply chain security and other aspects of the federal market.